With all the cyber attacks going on the Obama administration should be careful to implement the medical records system online. The latest cyber attack involving more than 3 millions accounts from South Carolina IRS server should be a big red flag to review the Affordable Care Act in that area. Contrary to those voices supporting the idea of digitalizing even the currency system, is not hard to imagine what could happen to people in case of disasters, when only cash is accepted for purchasing water or food; what to expect if hackers manipulate your medical history?
Health IT and Patient Safety
On December 21, 2012, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued the Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan for public comment.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is taking actions on health IT and patient safety. HHS is calling on the private sector to take actions as well. To address health IT and patient safety, a shared responsibility among the government, health IT industry, patient safety organizations and health care providers is needed to support a culture of safety.
The Health IT Safety Plan may be viewed here. All public comments must be submitted by February 4, 2013, 11:59 pm EST to ONC.Policy@hhs.gov. Based on the public input, ONC will publish the final Health IT Safety Plan.
Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) implementation in 2013
- Improving Preventive Health Coverage. To expand the number of Americans receiving preventive care, the law provides new funding to state Medicaid programs that choose to cover preventive services for patients at little or no cost. Effective January 1, 2013. Learn more about the law and preventive care.
- Expanding Authority to Bundle Payments. The law establishes a national pilot program to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other providers to work together to improve the coordination and quality of patient care. Under payment “bundling,” hospitals, doctors, and providers are paid a flat rate for an episode of care rather than the current fragmented system where each service or test or bundles of items or services are billed separately to Medicare. For example, instead of a surgical procedure generating multiple claims from multiple providers, the entire team is compensated with a “bundled” payment that provides incentives to deliver health care services more efficiently while maintaining or improving quality of care. It aligns the incentives of those delivering care, and savings are shared between providers and the Medicare program. Effective no later than January 1, 2013.
- Increasing Medicaid Payments for Primary Care Doctors. As Medicaid programs and providers prepare to cover more patients in 2014, the Act requires states to pay primary care physicians no less than 100% of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014 for primary care services. The increase is fully funded by the federal government. Effective January 1, 2013. Learn how the law supports and strengthens primary care providers.
- Providing Additional Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Under the law, states will receive two more years of funding to continue coverage for children not eligible for Medicaid. Effective October 1, 2013. Learn more about CHIP.